In 2017, an Equifax data breach compromised the personal data of 143 million people. This information includes names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and other information that hackers can use to steal your identity.
Equifax was initially remedying the situation by offering $125 to those with compromised information. Due to an unexpectedly large number of claims filed, Equifax lost the ability to pay the $125 per person. The cash claim can still be filed, but the original offer has been adjusted and lowered.
Fortunately, for those affected, there is an extremely beneficial alternative. Equifax is offering a free credit monitoring service that will cover four years of credit monitoring and identity protection. According to the FTC, this holds a much higher value than $125 as the market value of credit monitoring would be hundreds of dollars a year.
Here are three ways opting for Equifax’s credit monitoring service can benefit you.
1. Credit Score Safety
Errors or fraudulent activity on your credit report can quickly lower your credit score. The monitoring service can quickly alert you to any signs of suspicious activity and allow you to address the situation to maintain your score. Making sure you keep a healthy credit score can give you lower monthly payments on things such as credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, etc.
2. Identity Theft Insurance
Equifax is providing up to $1 million in identity theft insurance to those affected by this data breach. This means if you fall victim to identity theft and suffer from unexpected expenses, Equifax will help with certain out-of-pocket expenses to get you back on your feet.
3. Individualized Identity Restoration Services
If your identity were to be stolen, it is a long and treacherous road to restoring your credit. This identity restoration service ensures that you don’t have to do it alone. They have resources to do the heavy lifting, taking the weight off of your shoulders.
It’s a simple process to file a claim, and the reward is well worth the time. To see if you qualify to file a claim, click here.